Photo of Peter Coyle

Environmental Regulations, Land Use, Mining, Real Estate

The fact that Minnesota, and especially the metropolitan region of St. Paul/Minneapolis, is experiencing a severe affordable housing crisis is not disputed.  The Metropolitan Council recently released data documenting that the metro region of Minnesota is growing substantially but that the supply of new housing, affordable across a broad range of housing types, is lagging. 

One of the most consequential decisions of the recently concluded term of the U.S. Supreme Court involves the reversal of a 30-year precedent and reinstatement of a landowner’s right to seek redress in federal court for an alleged taking of property without just compensation.  The 5-4 majority decision in Knick v. Township of Scott, PA

When policymakers debate new regulatory policies, including those relating to housing, invariably someone will identify that such regulations come at a price, oftentimes a high price.  This usually triggers the response that complying with the regulations will be the “greedy” developer/builder’s problem and they can simply take it out of their profits.  It’s a nice,

Earlier this year, Housing First MN, a Minnesota trade group that advocates for the interests of the housing industry and homeowners, issued a powerful report entitled Priced Out: The True Cost of Minnesota’s Broken Housing Market (full disclosure: the author represents this organization). The report confirms what others have speculated about in recent years

Last week the City of Bloomington adopted an expansive “inclusionary zoning” ordinance for the purpose of compelling developers of single and multifamily housing to include a portion of their new housing as affordable based on prescribed income standards.  “Inclusionary zoning” refers to a policy that compels developers to include some land use component desired by

News publications across the country have affirmed the existence of a near-crisis in providing affordable housing options for first-time homebuyers and low-income housing consumers. Mayoral elections in Minneapolis and St. Paul emphasized the need to address this problem. There are numerous private for-profit and nonprofit housing developers who would love to serve this market; indeed

Recently the Minnesota Supreme Court invalidated a municipality’s use of an unauthorized transportation fee to fund projects that are not directly tied to a specific project. It also invalidated a city’s use of a development contract to “negotiate” such an illegal fee into the contract. Minnesota cities have long contended that development contracts are bona

Virtually all local government jurisdictions in the United States follow a development code when evaluating a proposed development application (Houston, Texas is a notable exception, along with rural townships dominated by traditional agricultural uses). Rather than follow the dictates of their respective development codes, however, a growing number of jurisdictions compel that some types of

Cities throughout Minnesota are busy updating their comprehensive plans, a process that typically occurs every 10 years or so. As a reminder, comprehensive plans serve as the visionary roadmap for a city’s intended long-term growth; the implementing tools are the zoning ordinance, subdivision ordinance and similar policies. Of course, cities have the discretion to amend